5 Ways to Generate a Music Following
So you finally got your master files back from the audio guy and you’re ready to release the EP of the century. You just know, deep down, that this music is going to change lives and impact the world. But how do you get more people than your mom and grandma to click on that link to listen? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Know who you’re talking to and how to talk to them.
Before doing anything else, ask yourself, who am I trying to reach? Knowing the “who” will inform the “how, when, where, and why” you release content. The more well-defined your potential follower groups are, the more likely you are to actually make music, album art, videos, and social media content that they’ll want to listen to, watch, and share.
With that said, different people use different platforms. Each online platform has a different personality based on the kind of people that use it. Instagram is artsy and visual, twitter is direct and to-the-point, Spotify loves a good playlist, Youtube wants to teach you things, entertain you, and swallow you into hours of watching skits, cat videos, and song covers. Tailoring your content to each online platform will increase your chances of creating real connections with potential follower groups you’re trying to reach.
2. Be everywhere.
And we mean EVERYWHERE. The music community is in this cool season where anything can happen on any platform. The randomest content goes viral. Artists are being discovered in the most unlikely ways. A song that a high school student recorded in her/his bedroom can climb the Top 40 charts in that same week. You just never know what could happen with your song. So when you’re starting to generate your following, be everywhere—social media, Tunecore, Youtube, music blogs…EVERYWHERE!
This also means thinking globally. If your potential followers in a certain country still cut their teeth on CDs, you need to be pressing CDs. If another country can only get their music from an underground Christian music aggregator, you need to make sure your music is on there—and we speak from experience on this one!
3. Create consistent quality content.
A wise man once said, “It takes the average act six consistent years to break.” Keyword: consistent. The more you share, the more likely people are to follow your work. BUT! It has to be stuff they want to follow. Your content needs to grab people, pull them in, and make them scroll through your feed until they want to be a part the conversation. You don’t need expensive, highly-produced content to create these interactions. Your content just needs to have that special something that makes your potential follower say, “Wow! I can relate to this,” or “Wow! I learned something new,” or “Wow! That’s funny.”
4. Introduce yourself.
People follow other people. I don’t know about you but I’d rather have a following of friends than a following of strangers—that’s creepy. So let people get to know you, your story, and the stories behind your songs. Be vulnerable. Do behind-the-scenes videos, share live stories, and add an about page on your website. Basically, go out there, introduce yourself, and make friends.
5. Make music in community.
At Every Nation Music, we’re passionate about making music in community. We believe that we can go further together than we can alone. Think about it—we listen to a song because our cool social media influencer friend told us about it, we decide not to go to a show because we’ve been reading bad online reviews about the venue, we collab on playlists to share our jam-of-the-day with fellow musicians. In fact, in Nashville, most songwriters get signed to publishing houses solely because other writers recommend them. Guys, music is a community experience. So make music with other people. Because ultimately, the people you make music with will be your most loyal followers and biggest cheerleaders.